anexperimentalviralvlog - the movie remix # ! [Vasco Diogo, Portugal, 2016]

Vasco Diogo’s experimental compilation of vlogs pertains to be an exploration of audiovisual language, self-representation, manipulation and communication. In twelve minutes we see him in a variety of positions and backgrounds, from a choir of monastic mumbling to a blurred face slowly pulled from the screen. While some of these images work well to convey his main ideas, the film falls flat in its prioritising of style over substance.

The opening image of a mirrored fraction of his face, a disquieting kaleidoscope of flesh, is particularly arresting. Another highlight is his direct address to the viewer, urging us that he is talking directly and only to us. His piercing stare into the camera and the deepness of his voice is very effective, making you question both your relationship to the filmmaker and even the idea of ‘now’, as the immediacy of his address contrasts with the pre-recorded form of film.


There are some amusing moments where the narrator seems to be aware of the faint ridiculousness of a man lying in field of shimmering ovals while saying “a, a, a, a,” repeatedly.


However, in general this short seems to take itself just a little too seriously. Pseudo-academic phrases like “intelligence is being alone and cynicism” do little to convey any depth and instead appear meaningless when interspersed with Diogo honking a horn for just a bit too long.


The central flaw of the film is that there is only so far visual effects can be used to disguise a lack of substance. Although there is an emphasis on communication, one could accuse this film of an over-emphasis on the self. At the end of the day, twelve minutes of someone exploring how they look with different self-confessed DIY backgrounds might be more self-indulgent than boundary breaking.

'anexperimentalviralvlog - the movie remix # !' was a film in consideration for Short Focus Film Festival 2019.

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